Calories: Fuel for Life

Calories: Fuel for Life

Written by: Likai Gong, dietetics student, June 2024

Calories: Fuel for Life

Nowadays, people are more conscious of their weight and daily intake than ever before, largely influenced by social media. The term “calorie” is often thrown around in this context, and many people are using a “calorie calculator” to track how many calories they have per meal in order to control their daily consumption and lose weight. However, do you truly understand the concept of calorie and its significance? Is limiting calories really the right thing to do? In this blog, we will give you a full explanation of calories and debunk some common myths. 


What is Calorie?

Calories are a unit of energy. There are two types of calories: a small calorie (cal) and a large calorie (kcal or Cal with an upper case C). 1 cal means the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1º Celsius, and 1 kcal/Cal equals 1000 cal, which means the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1º Celsius. Both types of calories are used in real life, which can be confusing sometimes. The calorie (Cal) used on food labels refers to the large calorie (kcal/Cal) (National Health Service, 2023).

Within the realm of nutrition, calories serve as the fundamental currency of energy. They measure the energy derived from the foods and beverages we consume, which fuel our bodies (Lingo, 2023). Just like money, we spend these calories on our daily activities, from basic functions like breathing and digesting food, to more intense exercises like running or weightlifting. 

Every food is composed of three main nutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The different quantities of these nutrients in different foods provide different calories.


Calorific Value

Nutrient Type


1 g Carbohydrates

4 kcal

1 g Protein

4 kcal

1 g Fat

9 kcal

The Importance of Calories:

Calories play a significant role in sustaining your life within the body, even without you noticing. This includes everything from regulating body temperature to supporting cellular functions. Furthermore, calorie intake directly impacts physical performance and mental capacity (Lingo, 2023). Therefore, adequate calorie intake is essential for basic processes needed by organs for living and for maintaining overall health (Bubnis, 2017).

Choosing Quality Calories:

While the quantity of calories is important, so is the quality. Some calories from certain foods only provide energy but very few other nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, or minerals; we call these empty calories  (Bubnis, 2017). These empty calories are mainly from foods with high solid fat or added sugar, such as ice cream, donuts, and cookies. Opting for nutrient-rich, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains ensures that your calorie intake contributes to overall health and well-being.

The Remix Approach:

Remix exemplifies the fusion of nutrition and taste, offering innovative snacks crafted with mostly non-GMO ingredients. By using beans as primary ingredients, Remix products provide a nutrient-rich alternative to traditional snacks, delivering a satisfying crunch without compromising on flavour or nutritional value. Incorporating Remix’ snacks into your diet not only adds variety, but also contributes to a balanced nutrient and calorie intake, supporting your journey toward a healthier lifestyle.


Bubnis, D. (2017, December 13). How many calories do you need? Medical News Today.

Lingo, D. (2023, March 8). What Are Calories and How Many Do You Need? Eating Well.

National Health Service (2023, April 17). Understanding calories.
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